Sunday, September 30, 2007

Kiva loans, Obama meetings, and Second Life

Found some great Kiva loans yesterday - To Reymundo Sanchez in Teguigalpa, Honduras, to help him with his corner store. And to Betty Adriazola, La Paz / El Alto, Bolivia. My sister told me about Betty's loan, she is a lender and pointed out it was a 'divorced Betty with 2 kids'. Just like our mom!

I also went to my Obama organizing meeting and of course updated it on my Obama blog. I have too many blogs! I did some fundraising yesterday and will again today to try to get our numbers up for the end of the quarter. Once again its time for the candidates to compare. I am also trying to win a group fundraising challenge - we have a chance of getting a conference call by Obama to our Second LIfe group. That means we will be able to try to get him into Second Life.

IF YOU COULD (American Citizens) could you please consider donating $5 to the Obama campaign through this link? We only need about 3-5 more people to donate to win. The amount doesn't matter but feel free to give more than $5. And it has to be by Sunday Evening (tonight) to count. Donate here. AND THANK YOU.

Please help an avatar talk to her candidate.

Also did some Kiva Second Life Land selling - found a few nice people willing to buy part of the land, then found a wonderful new friend who bought the whole thing then decided to just keep it and pay us the money. She's trying to change the world in Second Life, so I think we'll be having some great discussions. I can't wait to see her land and what she's done. I'm working on a Kiva Yard sale on my land.

Friday, September 28, 2007


I made this Kiva loan yesterday to Julio César in Juliaca, Peru for my husband, 'cause he really likes businesses like his. Very original.

Today I loaned to Juanita 'cause she was in Teguigalpa.

I have been very busy with Obama and Kiva things, including being interviewed by ABCnews (inworld at the Obama headquarters) and by someone from the UN about Kiva (I"ll get my responses to you soon!) And I've been polishing up my grant proposal to find genes for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), its almost done. busy, busy, busy.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Kiva loans and land donations

I got land in second life donated to Kiva today, so I've been trying to figure out how to acquire it without upping my tier. I bought a 512 piece and have it for sale, so Kiva is officially in the real estate SL business. The land was donated with the intent that we will sell it and use the money. We should get about $100 for it. Not bad for a donation of virtual land.

I made two loans today. I found one from Honduras and couldn't resist. Jose Jorge Sauceda sells icecream in Teguigalpa.

I used a Kiva credit this morning to help Tamam Alakbarova, she rents a bathroom.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Obama and Anysoldier

Just got back from an Obama organizing meeting. We had new people show up, which is quite encouraging. Its so interesting to hear everyone's stories and why they joined the campaign.

I went the 99 cent only store and bought a bunch of stuff to make care packages for the troops ( The plan is to make 4; I bought 4 of most things. But often I buy more than what fits in the box. I'll be sending one to my favorite troop, Sam. And trying hard not to think of him as the little kid I first met.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Parading for Obama

Today I went to the Route 66 and paraded for Obama. It was pouring rain while we waited for the parade to start, but it cleared up when we walked. We got a great reception, lots of people enthusiastic.

Yesterday and today I organized debate-watching parties in second life for the 4 debates. We're going to have them at Capitol Hill and I've contacted all the groups. Not sure what else to do, I'm thinking of inviting food people or something to make it fun. And to get other people there. The whole point of this is to try to encourage more people to take part in the democratic process. People need to connect and feel more apart of the system. So many people think they can't change anything. I guess I've changed so many things that I know its not true. Often one little idea blows up and takes off. Today I had an idea (ok, I had many) but this one I acted on. I responded to a post from someone in New Hampshire who mentioned they were prepared for the debate. I said I would love to be there ('cause I used to live there) and that got me thinking about donations for virtual presence. So I suggested to them that they collect donations and put up balloons or something representing people. It will be a good fundraiser, as well as a good visual of support. They liked the idea. I need to tell it to the other debate sites. Could be a trend!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Doors needed for FUNDALUCAS

My friends' new clinic FUNDALUCAS in Honduras has not opened yet, they ran out of money for doors. So we wired them some today, I made a donation and sent it Western Union. I've never wired money before, I felt like an international spy. I think I've been watching too much Burn Notice.

Anyhow, this clinic is just opening its doors now and NOW is a perfect time to help them out, they will appreciate every cent. Unfortunately they don't have a 501(c)-3 status yet, but I explained to Reyna today that she needs to get that going. And a paypal account. And I need to start thinking of some fundraising ideas.

BUT IF ANYONE CAN HELP TODAY, please do. Go to the website and email and ask for the name (or ask me) and then go to Western Union online and wire it 'instant funds'. You can use a credit or debit card (or cash). And let them know the tracking number via email (or you can call with the free minutes western union gives you when you wire money).

MUCHO GRACIAS. And they will thank you too. This is a clinic just opening, as soon as they get the doors.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

cEment in Mexico

I used a kiva credit today for a loan to someone who wants to expand their house. Construction loans aren't as sexy and take longer to fund, which in these times probably only means a day or two. Donata Galvan Fiallo wanted $800 for cement.

I donated more money to the Obama campaign, they are doing a new match thing where they are trying to encourage new donors by matching them with old ones. I also did some calling and the Second Life meeting last night. Kiva and Obama. Oprah and I are working on that this year. heh.
Would have been cool to meet her last week. Oh well. Science called.

I got a letter from a solider in Iraq who I sent a package to a while back. I don't often get letters back, and I totally understand that they are too busy. They make me cry when I get them.

Daniel (of the 82n Airborn Division, Fort Bragg) is 24 years old, has been in the miliary for 51/2 years, and is on his third deployment to Iraq. He has a 'beautiful wife' and no kids.

He says 'getting mail around here is like finding gold. And getting packages is like winning the lottery'.

Sending packages is easy, there is a list of things soldiers might want on the website (, and I just think 'desert' and get what I can. I go to the 99 cent only store so it doesn't break my bank, and fill up 'priority mail' boxes from the post office. The boxes are free (and you can even order them online). The hard part is to write notes to people you haven't met who are involved in a war you don't believe in. And not tell them that.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Shoes in Saatli town, Azerbaijan

Well Kiva has 42 loans, so I'm going to use my last Kiva credit. Mr. Yashar is selling shoes in Saatli town, Azerbaijan and he could use some capital to increase his product.

This loan is for my husband who sometimes asks 'do we help guys too'? I guess I tend to only show him our female loans. But yes, we help guys too.

Student in Lebanon.

I couldn't resist using my kiva credit for this loan, there are 28 loans out there so I'm not being that greedy. This is a new country to lend too. And a student at that! I love students! Education helped me out of poverty. I'm glad to be able to help Waffa

Wafaa lives in Borj Al Barajneh with her parents and her siblings. Wafaa is selling clothes, towels, underwear, etc. to retail shops. "The money I earn is for tuition fees for my accounting studies." Wafaa is a 21-year-old woman striving for her education. She needs $300 to purchase enough merchandise for her business.

hospitals in Honduras and Kiva

I started a blog yesterday when I got home but feel asleep. Had a long day - a collaborator from Honduras was in town and we worked on projects to help find genes for epilepsy. She also told me about a new clinic that is opening this week for the poor in Honduras. Its going to be a full-run service will all the specialties, and hopefully eventually have a hospital attached that local universities will be part of. Its been 10 years in the planning, so its exciting that its happening. The web site is here. I'll ask Reyna today to set up a paypal or something so we can easily donate. I'm also going to try to get a local volunteer to coordinate equipment and supply donations. There is a lot of medical places around here that might donate. If you know any, please contact me or them.

I didn't make a Kiva loan yesterday 'cause I decided to only use my credit and not add any money till they have more loans to offer. But this morning I awoke to 3 credits, so I used one for a loan to Riffah Acmed in Pakastan for her restaurant. The picture looks wrong though, they look like sewers. So they may not be the people I lent to. Oh well, I'm sure it will go to good use.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Embroiderers and Cheese Makers

I made a loan yesterday to Pascuala in Mexico, to help her with her embroidery. She also runs a door and window making business. I admire all the ways she is trying to make money. I can relate. I think people need to be creative in this word, and flexible. And why not have your hobbies pay?

This morning I used my last Kiva credit and made a loan to Mario In Boliva. His was the last loan, Kiva still has more people caring and lending than they have loans at the moment. This is a great thing. It shows that there are more nice, caring people willing to take a chance on strangers, than the other kind. I'm hoping there will be enough of our kind to just change the world.

This may be my last Kiva loan for a bit, I'm not going to add new money, just use up my credits. This is all good.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Second Life Stories

I just posted this to kivafriends.

Here's an update on all the Kiva things happening in Second Life.

We are still waiting for an office in the Non-Profit Commons, but another sim was donated and we are on the 'for sure' list. The price of the first sim was estimated to be $40,000 US dollars, so this is a nice donation. Kiva is very visible in the NPC; Joe and I have been going to the weekly meetings, making Kiva usually one of the only organizations with more than 1 member. Here we are at the meeting last week to discuss the new sim.

Here is one of the weekly meetings. They are on Fridays at 8:30am Pacific Time. Joe and I send each other (instant messages) Ims. Last week was strange, we both got interviewed at the same time by someone (private ims with that person) while we were talking to each other. She took pictures of us and our info is posted here: She put pictures of us up on flicker too. I don't know why my glasses look like sunglasses, but make me look cooler! Especially on my trim, fit avatar body!

Here is the meeting.

The meetings are open to anyone who wants to attend.

You can learn more about it at OH, look, Kiva is at the top of the blog today!
Elron, the KivaSL group organizer, is busy not just making loans (our lender page is here:, he is also starting a kiva stall network and selling things in second life to make money for our kiva loans. This group, by the way, is now set up so that the money can't come out, it can only be re-lent. That means you can use donations as a tax-write off, and Elron is organizing all of that (with Fiona's advice). He is also sending out thank you for large donations.
. Elron is setting up a Kiva donation box for me, so the money goes directly to the group and I don't have to do any bookeeping. He also made a 'freebe' box (pictured on the right) which gives you info, the jean jacket, bracelet, etc.
. Here is one of the stalls he has set up, you can see we are in a building in a mall type place. He bought the inventory for resell, so anything anyone buys here goes to our group for loans.

I am going to make some things for him to sell, and I am hoping we will get some creative kiva friends making things also. Its a way we can turn time into money, building isn't that difficult. Explaining to a kiva client how we raise virtual money is probably much, much more difficult.

I am starting (as of about an hour ago) to work with Naomi about recruiting translators in Second Life. I think it might be a great resource, especially since we can go find people who speak a particular language and ask them in person. We can just pop into the Vietnam area, for example and see if we can find someone interested. We will have info in our office to make it easy and fun to volunteer.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I made a Kiva loan this morning to Señora Milena in Peru. I just love her business and her story. She makes traditional brooms, and now is expanding her business and refining her product. I would love to have one of her brooms. Perhaps if I go to Lima I will get to meet her. Its funny, the only other women I know in Peru used to be the Minister of Health. And might be again, she's pretty young. Maybe she would come with me to meet Milena.

I was not going to lend anymore today to share the loans (Kiva is still running out of loans all the time, and can't get them up fast enough). But I had to make this loan. María Antonieta Candia is from Boliva (one of my sister's favorite lending countries) and she is a caterer, my grandmother's profession. My grandmother was an immigrant who had a very hard life but worked hard and ended up quite successful - she started a catering business in her home that got quite successful, she sold and it still exists today in Montreal. She catered for Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and we have a great picture of them. Maria even looks a bit like my grandmother.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

To loan or not to loan?

I'm in a dilemma, I got another kiva credit today from a repaid loan and I'm not sure if I should sit on my money for a bit and let others loan, or use it.
I made one loan this morning to a tailor in Iraq. He wants to buy a sewing machine and raw materials. I can really relate to these businesses, they are similar to Garb the World.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Busy week in the UK

I've been in England for the last week, at an international meeting of Genetic Epidemiologists. We are people trying to treat and cure genetic diseases. The meeting was in York and I quite enjoyed the historical city. I also liked hanging out with old friends, and making some new ones.

My Kiva account had $125 credit when I returned (from paid back loans), but I only used $25 to lend to Phally SOK who weaves scarfs in Cambodia. Kiva has been doing very well since President Clinton was on Oprah last week discussing it, and he has mentioned Kiva in his book. Since that time the number of loans have been few and they get funded quickly. I need to do more sharing and let others give their money too. What a great world I live in, where people compete to help others. You live in the world you create, and I am glad I live in a world full of caring people who create positive change in the world. I'm glad I'm not cynical and bitter, as so many people are.

I'm not even that upset that I once again missed meeting Obama, and missed my chance to meet Oprah. I was invited to the event she just had for Obama, but once again I was out of town. I also missed being on a panel for KIVA, but I got a great person to do it and I'm sure Kiva was well represented. I attended a meeting today in second life about a new non-profit sim, that Kiva will have an office in because I have been attending meetings.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

kiva, more catching up.

Well, I had time to make loans yesterday but didn't have time to post about them. And all thanks to Kay for pointing out the loans. I have been busy, I am going to England tomorrow and have a few things to do before hand.

Today I loand to Isidora Florinda, Gloria Isabel and Idalia Marleny in Honduras.

Yesterday I loaned to Kaneez Fatima and to Fakhra Bibi , both who are helping their husbands with tailoring shops in Pakistan.

Hopefully I will get the chance to post again before I go. I am going to try to limit my computer use while I'm away, so I may not be posting for a while. I'm flying back Sept. 11th.